There is no more personally invasive, hurtful and devastating crime in the statutes than that of sexual assault of a child. Our community suffered a major black eye by five such reports of this crime in as many weeks.

The community’s bruised eye is nothing compared to the suffering, indignity and long-term psychological harm inflicted on the victims of these heinous offenses.

Two such crimes were reported to police this week. Unfortunately, this crime is showing an alarming upward trend in Copperas Cove of late.

We can do more than hope there is an immediate cessation of this shameful criminal statistic.

We as family members can be observant and vigilant in spotting potential offenses before they occur and refusing to allow our children to be placed in situations and circumstances that place them at risk. It is known as parenting.

It has been my experience that other crimes such as the possession and distribution of child pornography inevitably lead the actor to more serious crimes against children.

Sadly, another such crime was reported to police this week. The Internet has many good uses, but this activity is not one of them.

Thieves who target furniture and other household goods continue to plague our community. For several weeks now, furniture of all descriptions has been stolen from businesses and residences. This week, a sofa was stolen. Perhaps this was the final item the thieves needed to complete their redecorating scheme. Other thefts of goods included food, laundry and cosmetics.

Retail outlet stores are always targets of thieves and we see reports of them as a constant in this and other nearby communities.

These crimes are not acceptable by any means, but they are not trendsetting in my view. Occasionally, such as two weeks ago, one or more thieves acting alone or in concert may victimize a retailer to an unusual extent, but this is not a common occurrence.

Store theft prevention officers or the police, aided by numerous strategically placed video cameras, frequently apprehend these thieves. Be forewarned potential thieves, big brother is always watching.

Two vehicle burglaries were reported this week. From one vehicle, a GPS device was stolen. From another, a car stereo, laptop computer and digital camera were taken. The victim of the latter crime also suffered the burglary of his or her residence during the same criminal episode. As previously reported in recent months, vehicle burglaries in Cove have been on an upward trajectory and continue to occur.

Alarmingly, the theft of another license plate was reported this week, the second such crime in as many weeks.

While the purpose of these thefts may be for use on an otherwise not road-worthy vehicle, one that for any number of reasons cannot be legally licensed, I believe these plates are being amassed for use in other, more serious crimes in this or another jurisdiction.

Credit card abuse and the theft of a cellphone rounded out the property crimes in Cove this week.

Thanks to Cove police, more than 25 arrests were made this week for crimes ranging from traffic offenses and crimes of assault to controlled substance possession and use.

We are all safer in this community because of their vigilance.

If you have any information about these or any other crimes, you are urged to contact the appropriate authorities.

John Vander Werff is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement with over a decade in city and county law enforcement and 20 years with state police.

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